Two of the five boys who live across the river paddled their canoe over to ask me if they could “take my dog”—these are the same kids that caused me to have to swim over to retrieve my border collie after they had teased, coaxed and bribed my pup across the cove and into their grimy little clutches at least once a week last summer.
I can’t blame the dog for jumping ship. I’m quite certain five rock-throwing, rope-swinging boys under the age of 10 are way more fun than me, and they usually have a much bigger cache of half-chewed hot dogs.
Their mother home schools them, which is why I suppose she had her sofa moved outside so she can lounge around, drinking big glasses of bourbon and Diet Coke while her progeny swim, scream and terrorize small animals.
Last summer she and her hubby bought the boys a hoard of white baby ducks and unleashed them on all of their unsuspecting neighbors. For a while, the kids were thoroughly enchanted with the ducks, but, as one might suspect, they outgrew the ducks quicker than they outgrew their super-size Under-roos, and the ducks returned the favor, and began attacking the kids when ever they got into the water.
If you’ve never seen a kid get pecked by a duck, you don’t know what you’re missing.
When asked if they could take my dog back across the river, I almost said yes, just to see what would happen when they tried to get my long-legged border collie into their rickety, waterlogged canoe.
But even at my most dastardly, I do have limits, and told them they were welcome to play with him on our shore, and asked why, with three dogs of their own to play with, would they need to come avail me of my pooch.
“Duh,” Travis said. “Our dogs don’t like us.”
Hard to imagine why.
When Chap starts in about more kids (he has a perfectly good pair of his own), I always point across the water and say, “Really?”
I understand where he’s coming from. He is #7 of 12 brothers and sisters, and while I truly love his family, I just have a hard time considering a litter of my own, and gone are the days when you needed a gaggle of strong backed young-uns to help herd cattle. That’s what the dogs are for.
As the boys took their leave, their mother hefted herself off the sofa, watching as her progeny began to paddle back home.
“You want a couple of kids?” she yelled across the river.
“No thanks,” I said, giving the canoe a little shove. “I already ate.”